We are all one missed storage payment away from an episode of Hoarders

Here’s an interesting perspective I hadn’t thought much about:

Last weekend my boyfriend and I were driving up into the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina in the rain. Twilit clouds hugged their wet bellies to the ancient mountainsides. The highway signs reflected gently against the low, soft sky.

Since the last time we drove that stretch of highway, at least three new blocs of climate-controlled storage units have materialized. Rows upon rows of squat, sterile, eternally-lit, post-brutalist boxes that are proliferating like genital warts through some of the most beautiful countryside east of the Mississippi.

Not only are their constant lights, heat and air conditioning sucking up energy, storage units are ultimately the physical manifestation of everything that’s horrible and excessive about our consumerist, cheap, plastic throwaway culture: we buy and we buy until we literally don’t have room for it all, so then we rent a hole to hide it in to escape from having to think about it.

We pay our own rent or mortgage and simultaneously pay for little houses for the **** we can’t throw away. Just like the pockets of body fat that bulge out on the frames of those of us who habitually consume more calories than we burn, the landscape is bulging with storage units because we buy more things than we can use.

theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/03/we-are-all-one-missed-storage-payment-away-from-hoarders

I don’t have a rented storage space, but I do have a lot of junk in my garage so that I can’t park my car there.

Yes, stuff just accumulates, even if you’re not trying to accumulate stuff. You have to make a conscious effort to keep throwing stuff out or give it to Goodwill or something! Otherwise it just accumulates. One of my relatives positively refuses to get rid of stuff, unless it can be sold for money, which it can’t because most of it is useless junk!

This part of the article was good:

Those clothes you think that you will someday fit back into? You will not. And if you actually do manage to get back to the size you were in college, you will assuredly want to buy a whole bunch of new clothes to celebrate.

Those books you’re dragging around? You will not re-read them. Choose 50 to 100 that you absolutely can’t live without and give the rest away. You will thank me when it comes time to move.

Donate those things. In your town right now there are halfway houses full of recovering drug addicts – men and women who literally lost everything to addiction and who, chances are, turned up at rehab with nothing but a pair of shorts, a Panama Jack t-shirt and one flip-flop. They can wear your old clothes to job interviews and get a start on a new life. Your old end table could make someone’s harsh reality a little less barren.

The rest of it – just let it go. If you don’t see it or use it for years at a time – if those storage-unit items aren’t integral to your existence – you don’t need them. You are not going to put that moldering collection of Beanie Babies on eBay. You say you are, but you won’t. Let them go.

I was shocked to find out how much my dad was paying in storage fees so that they didn’t have to throw out old furniture they didn’t even want or need. Nothing in there was worth even one month’s fee, however, my step-mother just couldn’t let it go because her kids had used it and she was “saving it for them”. (As if my twenty-two year old sister really wants a plastic Barney bed.)

Those clothes you think that you will someday fit back into? You will not. And if you actually do manage to get back to the size you were in college, you will assuredly want to buy a whole bunch of new clothes to celebrate.

Those books you’re dragging around? You will not re-read them. Choose 50 to 100 that you absolutely can’t live without and give the rest away. You will thank me when it comes time to move.

Donate those things. In your town right now there are halfway houses full of recovering drug addicts – men and women who literally lost everything to addiction and who, chances are, turned up at rehab with nothing but a pair of shorts, a Panama Jack t-shirt and one flip-flop. They can wear your old clothes to job interviews and get a start on a new life. Your old end table could make someone’s harsh reality a little less barren.

The rest of it – just let it go. If you don’t see it or use it for years at a time – if those storage-unit items aren’t integral to your existence – you don’t need them. You are not going to put that moldering collection of Beanie Babies on eBay. You say you are, but you won’t. Let them go.

Good advice except for the part where you have to throw away all but 100 of your books.

Donate if you don’t want to throw. There are probably people out there that could put them to better use when you don’t reread.

I can’t stand clutter unless it’s “designed” clutter like one might see in an English cottage style house. I regularly donate all the usable stuff I’m not going to wear, read, use, etc. anymore. I’m not one of those persons who likes a stark, minimalist way of decorating a home, I like it cozy and pretty, but clutter, no. And I assume those with no clothes, books, etc. will be happy to get the nice ones I’m not going to use any longer. I know if I were homeless or lacked cash, I would appreciate any warm coat, etc.

Yeah, I definitely use more books than that, though I’ve moved mostly to kindle partially because of the space issue. I now have over 100 books in my pocket at all times. (Paper is still better though, in every other way.)

Does this mean I have to toss the Bay City Rollers T-shirt I wore in 6th grade?

I’m sure it’ll fit next year. Honest!

.

I have a lot more than 100 books and wouldn’t want to part with any of them.

The article motivates me to do some fall cleaning and clutter removal.

Mary.

Now what to do with all the old Beanie Babies. :eek:

I just recycled some old Catholic digest magazines that were in a desk drawer. I am trying to declutter to be more organized… I’m not quite there on hoarder level…far from it…I am willing to recycle or donate…i have an unused “Cars” themed bath towel and wash cloth set that i meant to give to a nephew when he was like 3…never did so i decided to donate it to a woman’s home that my diocese runs (it houses moms and children).

Storage units rule
Keep a clean house everyday:cool:

Over the summer my wife got all of us on a cleaning kick. We hauled uncounted bags to the Goodwill drop-off, put at least 40 bags of stuff over a period of four weeks at the curb for garbage pick-up, and made two trips to the municipal solid waste transfer station with scrap lumber and whatever else.

I highly recommend reading Marie Kondo’s book. :slight_smile:

I like to keep things. I grew up with parents who were children during the depression (the one in 1930s). So, I was taught to re-use, repair things rather than discard them. I don’t have a storage unit, nor do I have a garage, attic or basement so the stuff has to fit in the extra bedroom. I save some old clothes because they were made in USA and much better made than the throwaway clothes made in China that I see in the stores today and yes, since it’s only a size down I may in fact fit into them again. I probably save more paperwork than other people and it has saved me on more than one occasion when I needed proof of something, even many years later. I have sold or donated many books but there are some that I do keep and have re-read. Then there are items that are true collectibles but also usable at least on the fireplace as decoration like the Roseville pottery items that belonged to my grandparents. There has to be a balance - I have gotten rid of many things but there are still items that are still useful occasionally and I don’t want to purchase again when I need them.

Thanks for the book recommendation: Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

I used to be interested in the topic of “simple living” and bought Janet Luhrs, The Simple Living Guide.

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